Tuesday, November 09, 2010

The S.I and the Air Force

Continuing this week's look at an interesting mid-century collaboration between the Society of Illustrators and the U.S. Air Force. Let's begin with a piece by the great Robert Fawcett.


After posting yesterday, some new information about the Air Force Art Program came to light: Melanie Reim commented that the program was still very much alive - and that she had participated in it. You can see some wonderful Air Force sketches done by Melanie here.


As well, Daniel Zalkus shared a link to the Air Force art experience of illustrator Victor Juhasz


My own research turned up a page devoted to the program on the Society of Illustrators website. You can view a slideshow of many Air Force art pieces that were part of a recent show at the Society in New York.


And via Twitter, a note from Ray Ortensie that the "Art Program is setting up a display at Baltimore Airport this week."
If you happen to live in the Baltimore area, this is your chance to see some of the originals from the Air Force Art collection.


Finally, here's a link to the Air Force Art Program's Collection


  1. I've never seen Carl Roberts' work before,looks very good.The always excellent Stan Galli's captured that 'Right Stuff' attitude perfectlty in the last image.Despite the last pic there's a nice lack of propaganda in these, more like air force guys just getting on with their work.

  2. That's a good point, Remo; I also found that there doesn't seem to be any overt propaganda element to the artwork in general. Some might argue that it contains a subtle sort of propaganda, because, unlike wartime art, the imagery is universally 'upbeat' - but I think its an honest reflection of the individual artist's impressions of what he saw and experienced... and no doubt infused with a sense of pride and patriotism, which is, imo, fine.

  3. Leif, Each chapter or subset of the Society has its regional Air Force Artists Program. Google it as the Air Force has a decent online record of the collection. I have had the great pleasure of being on a few of these trips, including being on the flight line as the first Space Shuttle landed. Wow!
    Other programs include the US Forest Service, and the other service arms of the military. One of the great things about the AF Program is that there is NO pressure put on the artists on the events that they cover.